Andy Pratt — Don’t judge the book by its cover
When Andy Pratt heads into Brooklyn for a Sunday gig at Pete’s Candy Store, he won’t know who’s going to show up.
Will it be jazz fans who have followed his career on the Chicago scene, singer-songwriter aficionados who have heard his debut album Horizon Disrupted, or maybe grunge / punk fans who want to hear the latest artist engineered by Steve Albini?
Whoever it is, Pratt is happy to welcome them all.
“I’d like a wide variety of audiences to be interested,” he said. “Some of the jazz people really like it, and some people even think that it’s a jazz record. Some rock guys like it too, and so do some people in between that.”
The beauty of the album is that it does appeal to anyone who enjoys good music, regardless of genre. Of course, that doesn’t help Pratt when he’s trying to book gigs, but he’s getting the hang of all that stuff when it comes to defining what he’s doing musically.
“I’m a jazz guitarist and singer, and most of the gigs I play in Chicago are jazz gigs where I’m singing George Gershwin and Cole Porter and Duke Ellington, and this is not a jazz record,” he said. “There are definitely jazz elements, but it really falls more into that singer-songwriter genre. I tried to make it work at some jazz clubs and booking the gigs for this tour, I have firmly learned that this works better in singer-songwriter venues and not jazz clubs. So it was a little tricky, but I feel that now I know what it is more than I did even just a few months ago.”
And Pratt is enjoying being the man with the name on the marquee, even if it took him a while to get here. But all good things are worth waiting for, right Andy?
“I wanted to put this record together because I had a collection of tunes that I’ve been writing since 2012 and I wanted to get those songs documented,” he said. “Then about four years ago, I started writing some string quartet arrangements for those songs, and I tried those out at a gig and from then on, I thought, ‘This went great, it sounds really good and exactly how I perceived it to sound initially. We’ve got to go into the studio.’”
In the summer of last year, Pratt and Albini performed their magic, and while not all the songs from those sessions are on Horizon Disrupted, expect to see the rest of them soon.
“We recorded 13 songs and eight of them made it on the record because I thought those songs had a nice flow to it and, honestly, those are the mellower of the 13 songs that we recorded,” Pratt said. “The other five tunes I’m going to release later on a B-side compilation have a little more of a rock and roll vibe to them. So in that sense, there is a little something for everyone and I do perform those other songs as well.”
So whether you’re a jazz, singer-songwriter or rock fan, Andy Pratt’s got something for you.
“This is the first time I’ve been on the road doing my own thing,” he said. “I’ve been on the road playing as a sideman on other people’s projects, which has always been fun, but this is different. This is new, it’s a lot of fun, and I feel grateful that I’m able to get on the road. I’m meeting up with some old friends and musicians that I’ve known and I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to play music with some friends I know and to get to play my music.”
Andy Pratt plays Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn on Sunday, June 18. For tickets, click here
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